love looks like this

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…having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.  John 13:1b

Jesus finishes strong. Jesus’ love for His friends is the epitome of God’s love for the world, proving His love for us while we were still sinners (John 3:16, Romans 5:8).

During this Lenten season moving toward the cross and empty tomb – we will linger for a while on the final night of Jesus’ life as recorded in the gospel of John, chapters 13 – 19 and find some potent and poignant expressions of just what love (real love) looks like from the One who IS love (1 John 4:16).

Love looks like dirty feet made clean (John 13)

Love looks like the way, truth and life (John 14)

Love looks like slaves becoming friends (John 15)

Love looks like grief turned to joy (John 16)

Love looks like the fulness of joy (John 17)

Love looks like arrest, denial, wounds (John 18)

Love looks like a life laid down (John 19)

Jesus invites us not only to be loved, but to in turn love others in the same way He has first loved us (John 13:34-35). Such great love is only possible when we are empowered by His Holy Spirit living, moving, and having His being IN US (Acts 17:28). And it is such love – God’s love – which can truly transform a life, a community, a nation, a world.

Love looks like gathering, growing and sending.

It is God’s love which drives out all fear (1 John 4:18-19)— fear which has held a tight grip on too many for too long now and kept us from gathering together where we practice being loved and loving others. Lent is the perfect season for us to return in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19)

May we devote ourselves this Lenten season to gathering and growing together in the love of God found in Jesus Christ. Come to the midweek and Sunday morning services. It is time for us to see love in person, in the persons which make up this fellowship of believers.  And as we gather and grow in love, may we eagerly expect the Holy Spirit to empower and send us into the world around us – to our families, neighbors, communities with a love that looks like this. – Pastor Jon